Digital Immigrants

Techdirt points to a very interesting article about the difference between digital natives (i.e. the younger generation who has grown up amongst modern tech), and digital immigrants (i.e. those that understand and want to ‘leverage’ tech, but not intuitively).

The article, entitled The Wisdom (and Worth) of “Generation Techs” (reg requried – you may want to stop by BugMeNot first), posits that the digital natives simply work with tech in a different manner and mindspace to that of the immigrants. In fact I find a lot of truth in the following:

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You can see it in the digital immigrants? ?accent? ? whether it is printing out e-mails or typing with fingers rather than thumbs. Have you ever noticed that digital natives, unlike digital immigrants, don?t talk about ?information overload?? Rather, they crave more information.

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Also interesting is the comment that the digital natives’ behaviour and footprint extends beyond the digital and into RL:

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…even transgress using new digital methods and a new vocabulary most older managers don?t even understand. Blog? Wiki? RTS? Spawn? POS? Astroturf? How do these sound when juxtaposed with cross-functional cooperation, team-based management, and 360-degree feedback?

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This has always interested me, even more so now that I have a young child. I am totally aware that he will grow up using technology not yet available in ways that I cannot currently comprehend, and I have to admit that I am jealous.

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